Just after you’ve survived the FIFA world Cup scams, Black Friday scams come knocking, and even before the dust settles, here comes the ICC world Cricket online scams. Online Scams are old-age cyber threats that never go away. They take different form and employ varied tactics but the end game is always to warm their way into your bank account and swipe it clean.
Online scammers take advantage of popular events such as FIFA world cup, Rugby world cup, Olympics and G20 meetings to rob hardly earned cash of the internet users. This year’s ICC cricket world cup, currently underway in Australia won’t be spared either. Researchers at Symantec have already warned cricket lovers traveling to Australia and New Zealand to witness this spectacular sporting event to watch out for circulating online scams.
In this article we will discuss the different types of online scams and share important tips to help you stay safe during the ICC cricket world cup games.
Common Types of online scams to watch out for
- Internet Auction Fraud: It’s a common scam in online auction sites such as eBay. Here, scammers sell non-existent wares or the product description don’t match the actual product. Be suspicious when the seller insist on receiving money from bidders through money wire transfers and other untrusted services other than PayPal. Also think twice before buying under-priced good from untrusted sellers. It could be a scam.
- Spam: It’s probably the oldest of all online scams. Here the scammer sends emails to random email addresses soliciting for person information in a rather crafty way. Many spam emails promise irresistible goodies such lottery winnings, free tickets, unbelievable time discounts or chances to live abroad. Avoid clicking on the embedded links or downloading sent attachments because that could be the beginning of your financial turmoil.
- Credit card Fraud: It’s a rapidly growing online scam as the world shifts to paperless economies. Scammers harvest your credit cards details through bogus websites purporting to sell certain merchandise. In such cases, scammers save your credit card details in plaint text after you’ve made a purchase. Such information is used to authorize other transactions on your card without your knowledge. Always buy goods from trusted vendors and Insist on Https// encryption on websites before giving out your credit card details.
- Overpayment Fraud: In this type of online scam, the buyer apparently wires you an overpayment maybe for a service or good and later requests for a refund. In this case, you are tempted to refund the difference but in reality no money was sent to you in the first place. Usually, the scammer will send you a bogus PayPal or check notification message confirming the transaction. If you receive an overpayment from clients, first confirm your account balance and sender’s details before refunding the difference. It could be a trap.
- Non delivery of goods Scam or non-payment of item sold: This is an easy to avoid everyday crime in online stores. In this case, the seller fails to ship the goods after you’ve sent the money or the buyer fails to send the money for item sold. Avoiding such crimes is easy. Always buy merchandise from trusted vendors with a good reputation for delivery. If you are the sellers, use escrow payment services and track your shipment to ensure it delivered to your customers.
- Identity Theft: In this case, the attacker hacks your email account and sends alarming messages to all contacts in your address book. For instance, the hacker impersonates you and sends emails to your friends and relatives saying that you’re stranded in a foreign country after being mugged, requesting them to wire you bail out money. Always secure your accounts with a strong password. If you receive an email to bail out your friend or relative, call them to verify the information.
What to expect from scammers during the ICC Cricket World Cup games
- Spam emails alegedly from the official ICC Cricket World Cup organizers, partners or Sponsors. These emails will contain malicious links and malware ridden attachment which will automatically corrupt your systems if opened.
- Numerous Fake websites purporting to be the official website for ICC cricket World cup. Here hackers will create websites that are a copycats of the official ICC websites. Pay keen attention to the URL before purchasing your ticket online.
- Fake advertisement about the ICC cricket World. The ads will promise huge one time discounts on tickets, hotel bookings and other packages. Clicking on these ads direct you to scammers’ traps or install malwares in your computer popularly known as Malvertising.
- Malware ridden social media posts: Online crooks will spam twitter and Facebook with posts directing users to spoofed websites.
- Fake video streaming sites designed to defraud cricket lovers who wish to follow the cricket event online.
Tips to keep yourself safe from ICC Cricket world Cup online scam
- Be wary of spam email allegedly from ICC Cricket World cup organizers, Sponsors or partners. Don’t clink on embedded links on these emails or download the attachments.
- Buy Tickets from the official ICC cricket World cup Website only. Pay keen attention to the official URL. If possible manually enter the URL which is icc-cricket.com/cricket-world-cup. Normally a hacker will direct cricket lovers to spoofed sites by altering the URL. A common tactic is to add an extra hyphen in between the URL. E.g. www.ic-c-cricket.com or omit letters such www.icc.criket.com.
- Do not respond to emails claiming you’ve won free tickets to the cricket world cup event, or other goodies relating to the event. Report those emails as spam.
- If you’ve traveled to Australia or New Zealand this year to watch the event, do not respond to calls or messages allegedly from customers care agents requesting for information such hotel booking or flight details. If necessary request to call them back through the official service providers’ contacts.
- Do not click on ads on the ICC cricket World Cup event. Clicking on some of the ads will direct you to spoofed sites or download malicious files to your device.
- Be aware of potential harmful video streaming sites. If you have to follow the Cricket world cup event online, go for trusted sport sites such as Sky sports, Ten Sports live or Star sports. The same goes for downloading wallpapers and photos of the Cricket world cup event.
- Watch out for social media posts talking about the ICC cricket event. Do not click on embedded links unless the post is from a trusted source.
- Update and if possible upgrade security software in all of your devices. Use a strong antivirus software, Turn on your Firewall and install powerful spam filters in your email.
- Maintain a tight leash on personal information. Avoid giving out personal details to strangers in the stadiums no matter how much time you’ve spent next to each other.
- Lastly Use strong password to secure all your online accounts.
In conclusion, online scams are here to stay so long as internet users continue to fall prey to these well-crafted money traps. All the tips we have discussed above will help you identify and ward off online scams during the ongoing ICC Cricket world cup in Australia. More importantly, exercise correct judgment and use common sense at all times when interacting with strangers online.